The Hate Factory

 

Times are changing. We stand at a place in history where many of the creations of our founding fathers are rapidly disappearing. However, one American institution―the Ku Klux Klan―is alive and well. This right-wing extremist group has managed to survive through three distinct secret movements, all of which sought purification of American society through acts terrorism, including intimidation, physical assault and murder. Nowadays, however, the Klan has legitimized and somewhat sanitized its terrorist activities by infiltrating and seizing control of the Republican Party. Indeed, the party of Lincoln has now become a safe haven for racists, fascists, evangelicals, sexual predators…even credibly accused pedophiles. Along with the U.S. Supreme Court, and more than any other person, former president Andrew Johnson is responsible for the continued existence of this vile and evil anti-American society.

 

History books relate that the South―states which desired to destroy the Union―lost the American Civil War. The scorched-earth armies of Grant and Sherman destroyed nearly every military presence and physical structure in sight during their march through the South. But the generals never broke the spirit of a society of individuals who somehow thought that human bondage was not only profitable, but also humane and proper.

This so-called “spirit” was conceived as a matter of law by Roger Taney, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, in the infamous Dred Scott case (Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 US 393, 1857). Taney ruled that people of African descent, blacks, had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and that the negro must be reduced to slavery “for his own benefit.” Taney further decided that blacks could be “bought and sold, like an ordinary article of merchandise, whenever a profit could be had by the transaction.”  Thus, the dominant thought of white superiority was not only preserved in law, but also greatly magnified racism as a matter of practice following the assassination of Lincoln when President Andrew Johnson granted amnesty and full pardons to the architects and participants of the Southern secessionist movement on December 25, 1868.

Six young Confederate veterans of the Civil War met in the Jones Law Office in Pulaski, Tennessee in spring 1866.  One of the participants, John Lester, suggested, “Why don’t we start a club of some kind?”  About a week later, another member of the group, one John Kennedy, was house sitting for Colonel Thomas Martin. The group convened again at Martin’s plantation while the colonel and his family were away to finalize the plans, including a name, for their new club. James Crowe suggested kuklux, a variation of the Greek word circle, so no one would know what the word means. And Kennedy suggested, “Since we are all of Scotch-Irish descent, we should add the word klan.”  Thus was born―quite innocently―a name that would live in infamy, the Ku Klux Klan. Inspired by the ghostly sound of the name they had just adopted, the six young men attired themselves in sheets and pillowcases pilfered from Mrs. Martin’s linen closet and cavorted after dark on horseback through the town of Pulaski, much to the curiosity of the local population. This would prove to be the last harmless act of the Klan.

The idea of a secret society doing business under cover of darkness soon caught on and surged like wildfire throughout the South.  This first incarnation of the Klan conducted a reign of terror that lasted for about five years until the federal government put it out of business around 1871.  The group, through its local units (dens, known as klaverns) had attempted to overthrow the Republican state governments in the South during the Reconstruction Era with tactics that included physical assault and murder: “We are the law,” was their mantra.  They targeted blacks, and educators from the northern states who came south as part of the mission to educate blacks. And their well-known symbol―their calling card―was the burning of a “Fiery Cross.”  Former Confederate general Nathan B. Forrest, known as the “Grand Wizard,” was the leader during this period. During an interview with a reporter from the Cincinnati Commercial, Forrest stated that membership of the Tennessee Klan was 40,000, and further estimated membership throughout the South at 550,000.

The catalyst for the second incarnation of the Klan was twofold. First, respectable historians of the Reconstruction Era provided false narratives of the period immediately following the Civil War which depicted blacks as villains and whites as victims, when the truth was exactly opposite. Second was the 1915 silent film by D. W. Griffith, Birth of a Nation, which mythologized the founding of the first Klan. This Klan expanded operations to include the entire country, and funded itself through membership dues and the sale of white costumes and conical hats. Its membership peaked between 1924 and 1925 at an estimated 3 to 6 million members. The first elected Imperial Wizard during this period was William Joseph Simmons, a Methodist minister. Thus, it was hardly surprising to see the Klan carrying out its heinous nighttime activities, either preceding, or following, the burning of a cross, to the strains of “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Precisely as today, these evangelicals viewed the election of their leaders as the “will of God,” with a commensurate duty to follow orders, no matter how diabolical. Jews, blacks, and immigrants (mostly Catholics) were the targets of their white supremacist views. Stetson Kennedy, an activist author who infiltrated the Klan as an informant for the FBI appropriately described the secret society of hooded villains as “the ugliest skeletons in our closet.”

Nevertheless, the largest and most famous gathering of the Klan came north of the Mason-Dixon Line in the state of Indiana on the Fourth of July, 1923. 200,000 klansmen, along with their wives and children gathered at a 185-acre field in Kokomo, about 50 miles north of Indianapolis. They were awaiting the arrival of the most influential Klan leader of the era, Grand Dragon David Curtis Stephenson (the Old man). Stephenson became the most powerful force in Hoosier politics; he was in fact a legend in his own time. But there was a defect in his character that foretold his destiny; he was a sexual predator. Stephenson abducted and raped state employee Madge Oberholtzer. The woman poisoned herself to escape Stephenson, and a doctor later found that skin on her left breast was torn open, and tissue on her genitals had been bitten off. Stephenson was charged and convicted of second-degree murder, and the statements he made to prosecutors about the inner workings of the Klan in an attempt to avoid prison spelled doom for the organization. The revelations brought prison terms for many politicians and disgust by klansmen everywhere; they burned their white robes and membership cards. Thus, the second incarnation was founded in 1915, flourished in the 1920’s, and by 1944 had all but vanished.

The third incarnation of the Klan emerged in the 1950’s. Compared with earlier versions, membership (estimated at 3000-6000, depending on who compiled the report) in the organization was miniscule. This group opposed the civil rights movement, using violence and murder, with assistance from police agencies, to suppress activists. For instance, the prominent event during this period was the unearthing of three decomposing bodies from a Mississippi dam site. An outraged America brought an end, for the most part, to Southern lawmen turning activist victims directly into the clutches of the Ku Klux Klan. In any event, the results of the presidential election of 2016 put an end to the Klan’s third version and its covert activities.

The Klan, now in its fourth incarnation, is pursuing its mission in the open, and under color of law. Klansmen are everywhere, and openly practicing their trade.  The Republican National Committee recently endorsed credibly accused pedophile Roy Moore in his bid for the Alabama U.S. Senate seat. White Nationalist Steve King represents the people of Iowa in the House of Representatives.  Fascists Mark Meadows, Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz are desperately gouging at the Department of Justice and FBI in their attempts to protect a traitor.

Back in 1953, America executed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for selling secrets to the Soviets. How times have changed. The Russians reported that Donald Trump revealed top-secret information during an Oval Office meeting the day after FBI Director James Comey was fired. And more of the same probably happened during a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin at the recent Helsinki Conference. We can look at the results of an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted on August 21, 2017 and take away an understanding as to why approximately 40 percent of Americans, and 90 percent of self-proclaimed “Republicans” continue to unwaveringly support a serial racist and traitor. The poll revealed that 52 percent of Americans have racist tendencies. Another nine percent called it acceptable to hold neo-nazi or white supremacist views, which is equivalent to 22 million citizens. This does not include another ten percent who stated that they support the alt-right movement. Furthermore, a 2004 Pew survey identified 26.3 percent of Americans as “Evangelicals.”  Thus is revealed the environment that nurtures a hate factory, and provides a reason why people attend racist conventions and cheer on a demagogue who mocks the disabled, people of color and war heroes. Indeed, all of the klaverns of the modern Ku Klux Klan have been united under one banner: the Republican Party. The Imperial Wizard of this unfortunate transformation is none other than Donald Trump, and the rallies he presides over represent the symbolic burning of a “Fiery Cross.” This explains why decent and respectable conservatives have left the party of Lincoln en masse.

You Are Dead Wrong, Professor Turley

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, where he teaches constitutional and tort law. Turley published an opinion editorial in the February 6, 2018 edition of USA Today which stated that “Treason talk is reckless, whether it is coming from Trump or Democrats.” From a historical perspective, Turley wrote an informative essay and concluded by saying:

 “Democrats like Kaine are using treason to mean an actual criminal charge while Trump is using it more in a rhetorical sense, but both uses are reckless.

From the Sedition period to the Joe McCarthy period to civil rights marchers and Vietnam protects, our history is replete with politicians who showed the same “why not?” attitude toward treason. The answer should not be simply that it does not fit with our definition; it does not fit with our values.”

Professor Turley could not be more wrong. Treason by Donald Trump is still an open question, and our “values,” at least in the minds of Evangelical leaders, have been reduced to a “mulligan.”

Article III, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution reads:

Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Mr. Justice Douglas gave a thorough explanation of what does, and what does not constitute treason in Tomoya Kawakita v. United States (1952), 343 U.S. 717 (72 S. Ct. 950, 96 L. Ed. 1249). Justice Douglas wrote:

The act may be unnecessary to a successful completion of the enemy’s project; it may be an abortive attempt; it may in the sum total of the enemy’s effort be a casual and unimportant step. But if it gives aid and comfort to the enemy at the immediate moment of its performance, it qualifies as an overt act within the constitutional standard of treason. As Chief Justice Marshall said in Ex parte Bollman, 4 Cranch 75, 126, 2 L.Ed. 554, ‘If war be actually levied, * * * all those who perform any part, however minute, or however remote from the scene of action, and who are actually leagued in the general conspiracy, are to be considered as traitors.’ These two overt acts, if designed to speed up Japan’s war production, plainly gave aid and comfort to the enemy in the constitutional sense.

Never in their wildest dreams could the framers have imagined telephones, let alone the monstrosity we refer to as the Internet. But they did have the foresight to realize that changing times required the Constitution to be a living instrument, one that can adapt to whatever a citizen, at any time certain, is due under the Fifth Amendment, and as applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. Thus, we must look to cases decided by the Supreme Court, a panel guided by stare decisis, to determine how any law or constitutional provision is applied. The proper starting point is Annotation 24 to Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution.

As to levying war, Annotation 24 states:

Early judicial interpretation of the meaning of treason in terms of levying war was conditioned by the partisan struggles of the early nineteenth century, in which were involved the treason trials of Aaron Burr and his associates. In Ex parte Bollman, 1291 which involved two of Burr’s confederates, Chief Justice Marshall, speaking for himself and three other Justices, confined the meaning of levying war to the actual waging of war. ”However flagitious may be the crime of conspiring to subvert by force the government of our country, such conspiracy is not treason. To conspire to levy war, and actually to levy war, are distinct offences. The first must be brought into open action by the assemblage of men for a purpose treasonable in itself, or the fact of levying war cannot have been committed. So far has this principle been carried, that . . . it has been determined that the actual enlistment of men to serve against the government does not amount to levying of war.” Chief Justice Marshall was careful, however, to state that the Court did not mean that no person could be guilty of this crime who had not appeared in arms against the country. ”On the contrary, if it be actually levied, that is, if a body of men be actually assembled for the purpose of effecting by force a treasonable purpose, all those who perform any part, however minute, or however remote from the scene of action, and who are actually leagued in the general conspiracy, are to be considered as traitors. But there must be an actual assembling of men, for the treasonable purpose, to constitute a levying of war.

The framers never could have imagined that an army of invisible foot soldiers would land on the shores of the United States and attempt to overthrow our government via the Internet. This would be a “ levying of war.”That is exactly what happened when hackers under orders from Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, Russia sent millions of bots to targeted homes and businesses in the United States for the purpose of upsetting, or rigging, a democratic election. It is clear under the settled law that any American citizen who assisted Putin in this endeavor, upon sworn testimony of two individuals, is a traitor; small wonder that every individual in the Trump campaign denied every contact with Russians, when in fact, there were many.  It should also be noted that Donald Trump is the candidate who brought up the issue of election rigging―as if he had some inside information on the subject.  Moreover, the fact that Trump refused to issue sanctions authorized by a near unanimous vote of Congress falls within the purview of constitutional law, and as comfort and aid to the enemy is clearly an overt act of treason. Consequently, Professor Turley’s claim that Tim Kaine’s treason charge was “reckless” is misguided.

In deference to the learned professor, it is better to be dead wrong, than wrong dead. It could not be clearer that Donald Trump’s fondest wish is to join history’s long list of despots. This he demonstrated when he stated at a rally during the last presidential election campaign that he would “order his justice department to prosecute Hillary Clinton.” He demands and receives loyalty from a legion of bootlickers. Such conduct is the substance of banana republics and autocracies like the one presided over by Kim Jong-Un of North Korea. We have witnessed the North Korean dictator murder members of his own family at the smallest hint of dissent, and imprison countrymen for six months at hard labor for not “crying hard enough” at his father’s funeral. No man is above the law, including the President of the United States. Donald Trump is a proper subject for an indictment alleging treason against the United States. With due consideration given the number of Trump enablers within the Republican Party, the ongoing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller III may be our only security against those who would turn  our constitutional republic into a dictatorship.

Truman Goodspeed, February 2018

Open Your Eyes, America

That pathetic excuse for a life-form we know as our president has been selling out America to the Russians for decades. Donald Trump is a Russian spy, and the incriminating evidence is overwhelming.

Trump’s insatiable love for money made him a perfect target for Russian spy recruiters following the collapse of his business empire (as revealed by his 1995 tax return). His debts far exceeded his assets.

The initial objective, insofar as Vladimir Putin was concerned, was to export and launder money obtained by Russian mobsters and oligarchs by purchasing condominium units―mostly from Trump―throughout the world. Estimates put the amount of money that has left Russia under Putin’s watch at $1.7 trillion.

The second objective, which has been likewise successful, was to obtain visas for Russian spies, followed by placing those spies into condominiums purchased with tainted funds in New York City and other intelligence-rich venues. A visa is obtained in this manner by simply flashing the half-million dollar or more purchase price. Mission complete―regardless of background.

Vladimir Putin was an integral part of the former Soviet Union’s secret police force, otherwise known as the KGB. Never in his wildest fantasies did Putin ever dream of placing an obedient operative at the highest level of American government, but now, the evidence demonstrates that he has done just that.

Donald Trump has been passing state secrets to the Soviets almost from the first day he began receiving daily intelligence briefings as a primary candidate for president. In a curious twist, this condemning information was mostly revealed by Russian government official news agencies.

Shortly after he fired FBI Director James Comey, and unknown to American media outlets, Trump invited Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to the Oval Office. Trump claimed the pressure of the investigation into Russian meddling into the recent presidential election was “off,” after he fired that “nutjob Comey.”  Trump further revealed highly sensitive code-word intelligence to the Russians during the meeting. Photos and the substance of the meeting were released by Tass, Russia’s official news outlet. It seems a small wonder that former CIA head James Clapper has commented that Trump is an “asset for Vladimir Putin.”

Trump has at times used American news outlets for the release of highly sensitive top secret information. The New York Times reported in May that Trump revealed to Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte that Washington had sent two nuclear submarines to patrol waters off the Korean peninsula.

Likewise, during his first year in the White House, Trump, a self-exposed pathological liar, has arranged several personal meetings, and participated in several phone calls with Putin, all without witnesses, and most of which were first revealed by Russian news agencies.

Next, Trump invited―secretly―the chief of Russian spy operations, Sergei Naryshkin, to Washington for consultations. Following Russia’s invasion of Crimea, Naryshkin’s assets have been frozen, and he was forbidden entry into the United States. Nevertheless, Trump invited him to a meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. The meeting was first reported by Russia’s state television, Rossiya 1. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly demanded an explanation for the visit, but, quite obviously, he will not get one. Yet, even if an explanation were offered, who would believe another lie?

Trump had already turned over to the Russians all of America’s most sensitive intelligence information, with exception of the source and methods process involved in rooting out spies. With the assistance of Devin Nunes, he made this final bit of information available to the Russians.

Donald Trump saved his crowning “spy achievement” for when the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller III got too close for comfort. He had lapdog  Nunes (a member of the Trump Presidential Transition team) construct a partisan “memo” which  cherry-picked events from a FISA warrant which had been issued and reissued several times to investigate the espionage activities of Trump presidential campaign member Carter Page. Thus, Trump made it possible for Russians to gain the last bit of intelligence they were lacking―which was the source and methods involved in outing spies.

Through information provided by Donald Trump and Edward Snowden, Russia is in possession of all of America’s secrets. To protect future intelligence assets, the primary collector of such information, the FBI, must refuse access to all Congress members. Consequently, if there is a real need to know, these individuals can go to a court to force release of the relevant documents, and face criminal penalty if they abuse in any fashion the access granted.

If Donald Trump is not a spy, find a better reason for his refusal to initiate sanctions which were nearly unanimously authorized by Congress, along with his refusal to acknowledge what every expert says was interference by Russia―both past and ongoing―in our elections.

It is painfully obvious that Donald Trump is a man whose only allegiance is to Vladimir Putin. We may as well put the Russian Federation flag over the White House, and call it a day. Congratulations, America;   this could not have happened without your indifference.

Donald Trump―Putin’s Spymaster

 

Vladimir Putin could not be happier. Through Donald Trump, he has complete control of the Executive Branch, and through Devin Nunes, he has partial control of the Legislative Branch of American government.

Donald Trump is one of the more loathsome specimens of humanity to inhabit not just the White House, but planet Earth. He is racist, misogynist and a pathological liar. During an interview with radio personality Howard Stern, Trump agreed that his daughter might be thought of as a “piece of ass.” Moreover, without Russian money, he would be a snake oil salesman with a traveling carnival, searching relentlessly among his gullible victims for the next skirt to slide his hand under.

Trump’s business record reveals that he is not the usual Benedict Arnold-type traitor; rather than ideology, his treachery begins and ends with money. This man will do anything for a quick buck―even sell out his country.

America, however, is not the only victim. Trump and Putin have an arrangement whereby Russian money finances the purchase of Trump condominiums and golf courses throughout the world, followed by Russian spies moving into those properties. Thus, while Americans are preoccupied with the thought that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election, they are completely missing the larger picture: Donald Trump is not smart enough to train Russian spies, but he has the perfect network to embed them at vital places around the world. He is a Walmart-style distribution center for Putin’s spies. Under this set of facts, people do not have to wonder why Donald Trump refuses to acknowledge that Putin interfered in our last presidential election, or, that Trump has likewise refused to initiate the sanctions against Russia that Congress unanimously authorized.

Devin Nunes is a different story altogether. Nunes is indeed a Benedict Arnold-type traitor; he is a fascist ideologue who views Trump as a stepping-stone to a totalitarian government. Nunes decided to take the middleman (spies, such as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed in 1953 for selling state secrets to the Russians) out of the equation, and act directly as an agent for the Russian government in his legislative activities. This saved Putin time and money that otherwise would have been expended on espionage inspired lobbyist activities.

Trump’s business failures expose the reason he was ripe for plucking by Putin and his cabal of Russian oligarchs. It is public knowledge that Trump has been laundering dirty Russian money since the day he met David Bogatin in 1984 and sold the Russian immigrant five condominiums in one transaction. Investigative reporter Craig Unger, in a revealing and explosive September 2017 article for New Republic entitled “Trump’s Russian Laundromat” exposed Donald Trump’s longstanding connection to Russian mob leaders, and among other things stated:

“How to use Trump Tower and other luxury high-rises to clean dirty money, run an international crime syndicate, and propel a failed real estate developer into the White House. Also, it was stated that some 1.3 trillion dollars, presumably marked for laundering activities, had been exported from Russia since Vladimir Putin took control of the Russian Federation.”

A jury might be interested in hearing Trump explain how one Russian can live in five condominiums.

A clandestinely exposed tax return for the year 1995 reveals that Donald Trump mismanaged three Atlantic City casinos, lost money on an airline venture, and lost even more through the ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.  The sum of his misadventures totaled 916 million dollars; Trump was insolvent because his liabilities far exceeded his assets.

Any certified public accountant (CPA) would urge an executive in Trump’s position to make use of an Internal Revenue Service provision known as the “business carryover loss and credit against subsequent taxes owed.”  The regulation allows any business that has suffered a loss to recover the full amount lost over a period of twenty years.  The obvious rub is that a business must “stay in business” to receive the benefit.  But Trump had a history of bankruptcy, and of stiffing vendors and financers alike for amounts due, and for that reason, could not find a lender anywhere in the United States that would loan him a nickel.  However, Trump did get money from Russian oligarchs in exchange for an agreement to create a spy network.  After Russian spies began populating Trump properties, even more money was available from various lenders who based loans upon occupancy levels.  In this manner, Trump turned his insolvency into a continuing business and began charging his 1995 losses to the United States Treasury.

It is a felony when two or more persons conspire to commit a crime against, or to defraud the United States. The attempt does not even have to be successful (Title 18, United States Code, Section 371). The reason that Donald Trump has refused to release his tax returns is obvious.  Nearly all of the profitable transactions listed therein can be traced back to the spies who purchased, and subsequently moved into his condominiums in furtherance of their espionage activities. In this manner, Trump pilfered large amounts from the public treasury; much more than a billion dollars when interest is compounded on the daily basis used by the IRS.  This money can be recovered―and should be―using the same statute (18 USC §1961-68)  that United States attorneys within the Justice Department used to largely put the American Mafia out of business.

Simply stated, using illegal means (money laundering) to accomplish something legal (a tax refund) is a federal violation of both conspiracy and racketeering statutes. Consequently, United States taxpayers are entitled to treble damages pursuant to 18 USC §1964(c), of the amounts, plus interest, that Trump received via tax refunds.

Winners and losers determine patriots and traitors. Donald Trump and Devin Nunes, for different reasons, are both traitors. However, if they are allowed to continue along their current path, America will become an autocracy. Trump and Nunes will be patriots, and those who still love a democracy will be traitors.

The Enemy Within

The Spanish Civil War took place between 1936 and 1939. During the siege of Madrid by four columns of Nationalist forces, one of the leaders in that conflict, General Emilio Mola, told a journalist that a “fifth column” of supporters within the city would support the Nationalist cause and seek to undermine the Republican government from within. Thus was coined the phrase “fifth column.” Now, like a teeming colony of ants, we can see a fifth column in America hard at work in an attempt to undermine the rule of law and replace our constitutional republic with an autocracy. Included in this conspiracy of subversion are a law professor, a drain-the-swamp president, Fox News and members of the Congress of the United States.

103px--Appreciate_America_Stop_the_Fifth_Column-_-_NARA_-_513873

The rule of law is a hallmark of free societies.  Representatives of the people pass laws, which, in part, are codified into criminal code. Upon complaint, investigators, such as rank-and-file citizens in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, investigate complaints and turn the facts found over to prosecutors. Prosecutors, and sometimes grand juries, review the gathered facts and make a decision whether to indict or exonerate. A citizen charged under a bill of indictment receives full panoply of defense rights under the Fifth Amendment, and a right to a trial by an impartial jury of peers as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. An unbiased judge conducts the trial, and among other duties, is charged with removing prejudicial evidence. Thus, even though an investigator indulges in what may seem like prejudicial bias, the gatekeeper judge will remove all bias from relevant facts and present a clear case to the jury. Upon conclusion of a trial, a convicted defendant has a right of appeal.

It should first be noted that under our Constitution, the rule of law is equally binding on the governing leader as well as the governed citizenry. As James Madison wrote in Federalist 57:

“If the American people shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate anything but liberty.”

As a country, we are now far past the point of caution raised by Madison, and deep into a full-scale assault on the rule of law.  Donald Trump and his “BIG nuclear button” is a clear and present danger to all of humanity.  Almost as dangerous as Trump are those who attempt to legitimize his authoritarian tendencies. Such a man is Alan Dershowitz.

Dershowitz, a renowned defense attorney and professor emeritus at Harvard Law School is now on the outside of the legal profession looking in after making the nonsensical claim that Donald Trump “could not be charged with obstruction of justice for exercising his constitutional power to fire former FBI Director Jim Comey and his constitutional authority to tell the Justice Department who to investigate and who not to investigate.” The most ignorant of laypersons understands quite well that even when one has the authority to fire, such as a supervisor in an “employment at will” state, if that supervisor fires a person for being black, he has broken the law. Likewise, if the President fires the FBI Director to end an investigation (as Trump admitted to Lester Holt), he has corruptly obstructed justice and broken the law.  The second part of Dershowitz’s claim is a practice that only takes place in banana republics,  and is hardly worthy of mention.   However, Dershowitz’s theory has been roundly condemned and critiqued by a number of legal scholars, most thoroughly in an article by scholars Daniel J. Hemel and Eric A. Posner.

New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt, much to the chagrin of White House staffers, obtained an interview with Donald Trump in the grillroom at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Resort during the Christmas break. In the recorded session, shortly after heaping plaudits upon Dershowitz, Trump stated: “I have the absolute right to do what I want with the Justice Department.” That claim should curdle the blood of freedom loving people everywhere.

Intelligence agencies inform us that we are living in a time where Russians have penetrated and affected the outcome of our elections. Donald Trump both ignores this fact, and furthermore fails to initiate the corrective action for which he is duty bound.  There is a reason for this malfeasance (treason in the eyes of many). Dating back to 1984, Donald Trump has been laundering ill-gotten Russian money through his condominium properties.

Most people live in one home, and some have a second vacation property.  Thus, for honest people the sirens like those sounding a seven-alarm fire would be set off when an itinerant Russian offers to purchase five condominiums in one building; but not Donald Trump. He took the money when David Bogatin (who was reported to have assisted North Vietnamese in shooting down American pilots over Hanoi during the Vietnam War) made such an offer. This and other matters were revealed by investigative reporter Craig Unger in a September 2017 edition of New Republic Magazine article entitled “Trump’s Russian Laundromat.”

A clandestinely exposed tax return for the year 1995 reveals that Trump mismanaged three Atlantic City casinos, lost money on an airline venture, and lost even more through the ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.  The sum of his misadventures totaled 916 million dollars.   At that time, his business empire was under water and he was insolvent.   However, he had at his disposal a carryover tax credit relevant to the reported massive loss for each of the next eighteen years, which in effect amounted to an annual grant of nearly 50 million dollars from the public treasury—all of which added up as an expense to the American taxpayer.  But he could play the American taxpayers for suckers only if he continued in business. Trump is a deadbeat who simply did not pay his bills, and often sued contractors to get out of paying for services performed.  Consequently, U.S. lenders would not touch his loan requests, so Trump went to foreign branches of Deutsche Bank (Cypress) and other known fronts for Russian mobsters to satisfy his financial necessities.  The Russia source of financing has been admitted by both of Trump’s sons (“Most of our money comes from Russians”).

Fox News is a media outlet with perhaps a couple of honest and reputable reporters. For the most part, however, the organization is a propaganda mill modeled after ITAR-TASS (Information Telegraph Agency of Russia), the official Russian state central information distributor and newspaper. Pulitzer Prize-winning website Politifact declared that nearly 60 per cent of the statements it checked on Fox News were either mostly or entirely false. Another 19 per cent were only half-true. The leaders in this “fake news” cavalcade of dishonesty are conspiracy theorist Sean Hannity and soap opera judge Jeanine Pirro.

There are two variations of the conspiracy theorist. The first, like Alex Jones, who claims the Sandyhook massacre was staged by the government, suffers from paranoid delusion disorder (PDD).The politics of Jones and his band of some three million followers can be summed up by most psychiatrists as paranoia-tinged diatribe. The second type of conspirator, however, operates from a sound mind. Hannity, in a cold and calculating manner, delivers bald-faced lies to his gullible audience of old white people in wheelchairs and walkers. Indeed, if you are white, you dare not go to your grandparent’s house and say anything even slightly negative about the man who falsely claimed that Democrats were running a pedophilia ring out of a Washington, D.C. pizzeria, or the likewise false claim that DNC staffer Seth Rich was murdered for releasing Clinton emails.

Pirro, a former judge deluded by fantasy, used her bully pulpit to make wildly false and destructive accusations against every enforcer and prosecutor of law she could locate within the Federal Bureau of Investigation:  “Take them out in handcuffs,” she urged. As Pirro knows from her judicial experience, none of these FBI employees are perfect, but they generally follow facts to a proper conclusion, and when they do not, they are proper subjects for punishment.

Next comes subversive activities by United States Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), both of whom have requested a criminal referral of perjury against Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the now infamous “dossier.”

Donald Trump has made no secret of his unfitness for office: he demonstrates as much on a daily basis through tweets and pathological lies. Graham at one time was critical of the President when appropriate, but following a golf outing with Trump now appears to be “all in” on the Trump agenda (“Law is what I say it is”), and damn the means by which that agenda is attained.  It may be that Trump demonstrated his golf course mastery and tutored Graham on the finer points of using a “foot-wedge,” and now, Graham will be eternally grateful.

The Grassley matter is altogether different. Grassley, the Senate Judiciary Chairman, has been on a mission to trash Steele’s dossier, presumably to protect Trump. The criminal referral authored by Grassley and Graham follows other efforts that indicate the Republican controlled panel is playing tribal politics, rather than attempting to prevent another Russian incursion into American elections. Indeed, one Democratic source called it an “effort to deflect attention” from the Trump-Russia probe.

There has indeed been a major effort on the part of Republicans to trash the Steele dossier, believing that the dossier was the genesis of the FBI investigation, and further, that the entire Russia issue would fade away once this feat was accomplished. A large hole was blown in that theory when a New York Times article revealed that the FBI investigation began after an Australian diplomat reported to the agency that Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, during a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar, revealed that Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Florida GOP Congressman Francis Rooney wants the FBI and Department of Justice “purged” of officials he says are politically biased against President Trump. A political purge, of course, is one of the more effective tools in keeping a dictatorship free of popular dissent.

It appears that a classic fifth column, an infiltration of malign elements, is presently occurring in the United States House of Representatives.  Along with the judiciary, Congress was intended by the framers to be a check on abusive power grabs by the Executive Branch. Nevertheless, subversives Devin Nunes (R-Ca) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), both in open hearings, and behind the scenes with a secret committee, are attempting to undermine the rule of law and a legitimate investigation headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It could not be clearer that Nunes (who was also a member of the Trump transition team) has abdicated his House responsibility through his frequent trips to the White House to rat out the results of the House probe. While Special Counsel Robert Mueller has already proven the validity of his appointment by securing indictments and guilty pleas, nevertheless, these two wayward House members continue in their attempts to destroy Mueller’s credibility and end the continuing investigation into Russia’s interference in the last presidential election.

Finally, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson created quite a stir within the Beltway media when he referred to his boss as a “moron.” Here, it is useful to relate that Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956), also known as the “Sage of Baltimore,” was regarded as one of the most influential American writers in the early twentieth century. Mencken, seemingly prescient, once stated:

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

Now we have confirmation that both Tillerson and Mencken were correct through reviewing the recent bombshell release of “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolf. This book put into printed word what had previously traveled through whispers in the West Wing and the halls of Congress: that one hundred percent of the people in the upper echelon administration of Donald Trump considered the president entirely unfit for the position he holds.

Everyone―right, left, moderate, independent, even the politically indifferent―is missing the big picture. We live in a society in decline; the lights are dimming, and will eventually be extinguished. Nonetheless, there are people who no longer believe in that country born upon a Declaration of Independence and nurtured by a Constitution; they prefer a dictatorship.  They could care less about the boys who never had a chance to become men: those who sat next to us in class, lived around the corner and played on the same football team, but lost their lives defending freedom’s frontier in the jungles of Southeast Asia, while those of us lucky enough to come home from that ill-fated war had to endure being spat upon by hippies in airports.

If their fascist agenda is successful, the aforementioned subversives will be patriots in a new autocracy.  With much fanfare, those of us who still love the government of our founding fathers will be deemed traitors.

 

Truman Goodspeed, January 2018